[MUD-Dev] Languages

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Thu May 22 19:33:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


[Caliban:]

:I do admit that you can write a program much faster in C++ when you use
:the proper class libraries, and C++ can indeed be made much more
:readable. But starting from a blank text file and using no class
:libraries at all, just the standard C and C++ compiler libraries, C++
:ends up looking an awful lot like C... except that it runs slower, has a
:fatter binary, and took a good deal longer to write. ;>

If you have the libraries you need, and you know how to use them, then
maybe you can write code faster. Why is that moreso in C++ than in any
other typical language? You will of course end up with a lot of libraries
that are used inappropriately!

I've been on the sidelines while my boss has dived into C++. He was diving
into X programming at the same time, so his view is somewhat biased. He
has stated that he would have finished the project in half the time had
he stayed with C. Of course, that just says that learning a new paradigm
isn't trivial - it takes work and time. However, some of the difficulties
he had are interesting. One of his biggest problems is one that I suspected
as soon as I read much about C++, which is that of not being able to
know what was happening, by looking at the source. He had to carefully
study the classes involved, looking for non-obvious operators, etc., in
order to find some of his problems. Some problems took days to find.
This has always been my problem with things like operator overloading,
hidden calls, etc. They are convenient, but they require the reader to
have a lot of background in the system in question before they are more
readable.

:The benefits of C++ are in code reuse, but code reuse is not always an
:appropriate thing, and you have to have some C++ code to reuse first.

The cynic in me says that this penchant for willy-nilly code reuse is
why we have multi-megabyte programs, only a few percent of which are
ever executed! A *good* C++ programmer won't do that, but I get the
feeling that the vast majority of C++ programmers that are out there now
are not good enough.

--
Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA



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